Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tiny Bubbles

Is it really the MIDDLE of November?! wow.  How times flies!  Sadly, I haven't been able to play in the kitchen much at all - as other "stuff" has taken priority...  things like... a "milestone" birthday!!

First weekend in November we surprised the Birthday Boy with a "Lordy Lordy, Look Who's 40! Party".  Not wanting to deal with clean-up duty, I arranged a private room at Pier 73 Restaurant (OMG YUM) which is located at the Delta Vancouver Airport, adding to our own room, of course there had to be decorations....which also means a "theme".  For anyone who knows the bday boy.... Hair Nation & Jason go together like "two peas in a pod", "fish-n-chips", "cheap wing night & beer"! 
We had the takeaways/table decor:
We Will We Will QUACK YOU!  (guess you had to be there?!)
We had the location ( Pier 73 Restaurant, Delta Vancouver Airport ):

Pier 73 Restaurant
And of course I invited 40 or so of our close friends & family to surprise the Bday Boy...

A Huge Thank You to everyone who helped me make this surprise party a success! Great venue, appy platters to share, decorations, and hotel rooms to house all those who indulged a "little" in the bubbly stuff .... what more could you ask for!

After recovering from THAT party... we moved right on up to being a Guest of the Hilton Hotels, and enjoyed a luxurious weekend up at the Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa , and took part in several of Whistler's Cornucopia Events.  First thing that comes to mind is WOW!!  The room, the views, even a fresh layer of snow falling in Whistler Village set the stage to a fantastic Culinary & Wine filled weekend. 

On Saturday morning, I was lucky to be able to participate in VIKING STAGE SERIES: Good Things Come on Small Plates – with CRU Executive Chef Alana Peckham & Quails’ Gate Winery,  YUM YUM.   We had 3 delicious and decadent dishes prepared from scratch in front of us by Executive Chef Alana Peckham, from CRU, all the while sipping on perfectly pair wines from Quail's Gate Winery. Our plates were delicious - stay tuned to see if I can take accurate enough notes, drink a perfectly paired glass of bubbly, all the while savouring the dish placed in front of me!  (YES, I do intend on trying to make the Edamame Hummus on a Wonton Crisp, as well as the Wild Truffle Mushroom hard can these be?!?!) Though it was awesome.. not so sure on the salad with a seared tuna, as I don't think my "other half" would enjoy the salad again so much... cause' "its got cucumbers and stuff" in it..... :)

Edamamme Hummus on a Wonton Crisp... OMG YUM!

The one apparent trend throughout the weekend was the constant glass of bubbly being placed in my hand. OK, OK, I'll admit it... I enjoyed every sip! To top off our culinary / tasting weekend, we went to the Crush Gala.  Over 60 wineries are respresented, and all are offering several of their wines to taste. *sigh* When I walked through the doors, I was sure I had died and gone to heaven!!  As I finished my current glass of bubbly... another "tasting" glass replaced it... then a quick check to the map of all the wineries...and away we went...swirling, sipping and tasting some of the best wines from all over the world! From Dirty Laundry Winery, Blasted Church Winery to Summerhill Winery...I made my way selectively through.  Of course, there were those that were completely new to me, and far too many to try all of them in one night. How does one choose what wineries were going to be tasted - - well, of course, using the most scientific process of elimination I could think of.  I chose wineries in which the NAME of the Vineyward caught my eye.  I bypassed the "normal" names, skipped passed the commercially-mass produced places and I am very pleased to announce, I found a few that just seemed to fit.  "J Vineyards" - out of California... their Brut Rose ...YUM!!!!!! Just enough of those tiny bubbles dancing on your tongue! Then there's what I consider my most fantastic find... best of all, it's a LOCAL Vineyard on Salt Spring Island ... "Mistaken Identity" Vineyards.  WOW... HOLY... YUM. My first shipment of wine from Mistaken Identity should be arriving before the end of this week, and honestly...can't wait!!  Not only were they friendly to talk to, they have negotiated discounted shipping rates to anywhere in B.C. ...JACKPOT! 

Of Course, after a night of indulging in the various glasses of tiny bubbles...we had a bit of a slow morning. That didn't stop us from finishing up our Whistler Weekend with the Bear Course on Zip Trek.  5 zip lines, snow covered old growth forest and a river!! Talk about facing your fears!  Heights of over 160 feet, and there you are.. zipping through the trees, over the river and gracefully (thankfully) stopping at the other side.  On the last line, your guides actually show you how to "zip"... upside down / free style!! What a rush! Hanging upside down in your harness, zipping at fast speeds, and screaming.. "Look Ma... no hands!!" 

What a view!
Watch out for that first step!!... it's a doooooozey!
All in all, I am very blessed to have such fantastic people in my life.  From those willing to help celebrate that special someone's birthday, to those I have just begun to get to know, letting me indulge (just a little) and experience such an amazing weekend away with the person I love.  I can't wait to see what we "get into" next.  Snow has started to fall... feels like sledding season is just around the corner... OH and there's the kitchen, with several *new* recipes just waiting to be tested out....  until the next time....I'm off to try and catch up on some sleep...quietly humming.. "tiiiinnny bubbles" .....

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